Judge David Johnson once had an encounter with Bigfoot. It was a crisp November day, not unlike this one, deep in the woods of the Adirondacks. He was on a picnic lunch with his girlfriend when, suddenly, a sound from behind...to read more of this blurb, please subscribe to Judge David Johnson's full-length Blurb Members Only plan.
A Yeti slasher movie. How can it not go wrong?
Facts of the Case
Preston Rogers (Matt McCoy) used to be a hot shot mountain climber, until a tragic accident sent him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Newly released from the hospital, Preston and his white trash aide head to his mountain retreat, revisiting the locale that claimed the lower half of his body. Confined to the apartment he bides his time looking out the window—specifically at the nubile young college girls who have rented the abutting townhouse. But there's something else lurking in the woods besides women who don't think of closing windows before they completely disrobe and hop into the shower: Bigfoot is loose and killing people!
Even foolhardy hunters played by Jeffrey Combs and Lance Henriksen (Aliens) are no match for the lumbering, bloodthirsty beast, an insane confluence of hair and pointy teeth. So then, in one corner you have a carnivorous Yeti with superhuman strength and in the other a paraplegic ex-climber. Who will emerge victorious?
I think I'm some kind of roll here. The last few straight-to-DVD horror films I've seen have been pretty okay. Yeah, technically, Abominable saw its debut on the Sci-Fi Channel—usually a sign that the movie is likely horrifying for all the wrong reasons—but there's no way basic cable subscribers got this version.
Abominable is, as writer/director Ryan Schifrin accurately describes, a Rear Window/creature feature hybrid. The resemblance between this and Hitchcock's film is apparent, as McCoy's character watches as the mayhem unfolds in his apartment, binoculars glued to his eyes. Realistically, of course, we're talking more homage than anything because this is after all a friggin' killer Bigfoot movie.
As a friggin' killer Bigfoot movie, Abominable is, easily, the best I've ever seen. Sure I can't necessarily recall any other killer Bigfoot movies, but that's because they probably sucked. Abominable doesn't, and that's the point I'm making. It's an enjoyable movie, easily the best of the similar ilk Sci-Fi premieres I've had to endure, packed with tongue-in-cheek gore, a likeable hero, a great and cheesy monster and all the usual trimmings horror hounds have come to expect (i.e. soap-lathered boobies).
Start with the monster. Homeboy is a great creation, lumbering around with a glazed look on its hairy face, gnarled teeth jutting out from its prosthetic orifice and positively hulking. The creature is played by a man in a suit, with the facial features operated with animatronics. No CGI, just old-school makeup and micro-mechanics and the result is a cheap, but fun beastie.
Oh the mayhem this furry bastard wreaks! Schifrin pulled no punches when going for the gore; there are more than a few memorable kills, including a girl getting yanked through a window in a manner not conducive to spinal health, another victim getting crushed on the pavement, and that one guy having his entire face chomped off. The chaos is splattered with copious blood and other matter and the camera lingers on the havoc.
The story isn't highly involved and can be boiled down to the typical "enterprising protagonists must find a way to defeat the murderous ______," but McCoy, Henriksen, Combs, and recognizable faces like Rex Linn (who, remarkably, is not playing a dick FBI agent), Paul Gleason, and Phil Morris (Jackie Chiles from Seinfeld) add much to it. And the ending is great. Just a fun B-movie.
Anchor Bay unloads another good DVD, presenting the feature in a clean 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer with an active 5.1 surround mix. The nice slate of extras is highlighted by a robust making-of documentary and an entertaining commentary track by Schifrin and McCoy. Deleted scenes, bloopers, still galleries, and Schifirin's student film "Shadows" round out the offering.
People dying messily at the hands of a huge funny-looking snow creature. It's not a masterpiece of terror, but Abominable entertains.
Yeti no guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• "Back to Genre: Making Abominable"
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